Discovery Channel Alaskan Bush People recap: A Big Gamble

Do the Alaskan Bush People get paid? We asked! Read our interview with the Brown family.

In Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People Season 2 Episode 13, “A Big Gamble” (June 26), Billy is offered a deal on a one-of-a-kind boat and the family must decide if the opportunity is worth the risk. Noah goes on a blind in town, while Matt and Snowbird build a bush hot tub.

Alaskan Bush People

Alaskan Bush People Season 1 Recaps: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | The Wild Life

Season 2 Recaps: Episode 1 | Episode 2Episode 3 | Episode 4Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8  | Wild Times | Episode 9 | Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12 | Episode 13 | Episode 14 | SHARK WEEK! | Episode 15 | Episode 16 | Lost Footage | The Wild Year

Ami takes her daughters Rainy and Birdy out for a little “quality time” shooting firearms at logs. Ami really pities all you working moms in the Lower 48 who don’t care enough about your daughters to go into the woods with them to squeeze off a few rounds to release all that anger and resentment you hold against your mother and brother. Rainy, the Katniss Everdeen of the Bush, fires off a few arrows at the log. “Kill that wood, Rain!” Birdy yells. And if you don’t want rain to kill your wood, treat it with Thompson’s® WaterSeal® Waterproofing Stain.

Bear busted a bone in his hand while being exxxxxxtreme! But fractures are just the price of being exxxxxxxtreme! Bear has to go see a doctor in Hoonah, and that’s going to cost mucho dinero. Plus, if the injury is too exxxxxxtreme, Bear might permanently lose his ability to climb trees or dig in the dirt, and that would be an awful shame. So, uh, hypothetically, is there any kind of injury that might keep someone from howling? Bear has to wear a cast on the hand for two months. That is not exxxxxtreme.

Billy has a buddy coming to see him who has an offer that is to good to be true, so it clearly is not. Every barter the Browns have been involved in on this show has been heavily unbalanced in their favor. Billy’s buddy swapped for this World War II era 62-foot wood hull sub chaser and he wants to unload it. Billy thinks such a boat could be worth $20,000, but his buddy is willing to sell it for a mere $5,000 to cover his commercial fishing fees. Billy’s burning to buy this thing, but he’s not sure about dipping into Ami’s Teeth Pulling Fund to pay for it. He does the “awww, shucks, we’re just a poor Alaskan reality TV show family” spiel. “I’m aware of your situation out here,” his buddy says. He also watches this show and reads these recaps.

Billy’s already got big plans for this boat, and he envisions one day hauling commercial freight with this thing. “It’s a blessing from up above is what it is,” Billy says, rejoicing that big boats are now raining down from Bush Heaven. But the Hoonah harbor master just soiled himself thinking of the refloating job waiting for him after Billy sinks it.


Billy’s going to check out the boat, which is docked in Petersburg, some 200ish miles southeast of Hoonah. He takes Bam, Bear and Gabe along on the ferry ride to Petersburg. Ami’s all weepy about the family being split up, and there is much silly howling at each other.

Arriving in Petersburg, Billy and the boys meet Deacon Blue, who looks like a hybrid of the Gorton’s Fisherman and a garden gnome. Deacon is keeper of the keys to the Integrity. The Brown boys are in awe of this vessel. I’m in awe over the irony of the boat’s name.

Back at Brownton Abbey, Noah has a blind date arranged by an acquaintance of Susie the matchmaker, because Susie’s sick of dealing with this family and is dumping dead-end clients on her friends.  First, Noah must shave, and he’s got a bush shaving kit full of reclaimed and repurposed items. “Cleanliness is a virtue,” he says, and that these items are not a luxury but a necessity. Noah and Matt have vastly different approaches to courting the ladies. Noah likes 15th-century chivalry and other romantic ideals that make no practical 21st-century sense. He’s currently constructing matching bush chastity belts out of leftover bush clothes incinerator parts. Matt just likes to get laid down at the dump.

Noah, wearing what appears to be a goth pimp Halloween costume, goes to Christy’s house to ask her grandparents for her hand in … going to the swings. Grandpa has a shirt with zombie salmon on it that reads “Spawn Of The Dead.” Noah vows to protect Christy’s honor with his meager life. Gramps be like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Noah takes Christy to the park, wipes off the swing seat so she doesn’t sully her arse with dirt. He offers to push her on the swing because she is a toddler. They talk about their mutual love of dandelions and how most people think they’re weeds but they are really beautiful flowers with medicinal properties for relieving indigestion, which we’re all suffering from by watching this show.

(Digression! I hate dandelions with a passion. Screw dandelions. I will eradicate every single one of those vile weeds. I come from a long lineage of turfgrass-obsessed lunatics who demand absolute perfection of their lawns. Unfortunately, my neighbors do not share these ideals. They grow dandelions as if they were cash crops. My sons, ages 2 and 4, have to go into the neighbors’ yards to harvest dandelions because their father gleefully kills every dandelion on our property. My boys like to take the neighbors’ dandelions when they’ve become seed-laden puffballs and blow the seeds in my yard. Yes, I did the same thing as a young boy, but I eventually learned of my folly from my father, and someday my sons will learn from theirs. This digression has been brought to you by RoundUp Weed & Grass Killer.)

Remember when I noted that Bear’s date with Sara/Sarah was the saddest ever caught on camera? Noah just blew that one out of the water.

In the sub-subplot, the producers give Matt something stupid to do because stupid is what Matt does. He wants to build a bush hot tub in a hole in the ground using a tarp as a liner and an old steel drum as a heat source. Ah, there’s nothing quite like relaxing in a lukewarm puddle with your younger sister.

Back in Petersburg, Billy is all giddy about the Integrity. “This is reaching the point of being too good to be true,” he says. I think we’ve passed that point years ago. “There’s a catch. There’s a catch somewhere.”

The catch is that the boat needs a lot of updating, and Billy’s thinking about higher fuel costs. “I can’t get something that’s just going to be a money hole,” Billy says, forgetting that he already has a money hole in Ami’s toothless maw. Bear is just happy to have “a boat that is almost as exxxxxxxtreme as I am.” Gabe wants to transport the Statue of Liberty on it. Good luck with that, son.

I’m organizing an Alaskan Bush People Boat Doesn’t Start Scene drinking game. Can they just knock off this cheap gimmick already? It’s so predictable. It’s tired. It adds no real tension or drama. It just pisses away more time, because someone felt this show doesn’t piss away enough. Billy gets the boat started and he’s pleased with how the engine sounds and performs. Of course, once he takes the keys from Deacon Blue, the engine doesn’t start. After much hand-wringing and buyer’s remorse, they discover that someone simply “kicked the fuel valve off.” The engines fire up and Billy is pleased. “I’m driving a dream right now,” he says.

But brining the Integrity back home will be a difficult journey, fraught with perils like bad weather, poor visibility, beautiful but dangerous Sirens, and the narrow passage between Scylla and Charybdis. “The journey will be the ultimate test of this boat,” our dear narrator informs us. I think we all know that the real danger awaits not on the high seas but in the home port:




  1. Are you F ing kidding me, this show is so full of SH-T. How does a family living in the bush that doesn’t have enough money for toilet paper aford a $500 POS wood boat??? Stupid for living in the bush and even bigger simpleton’s for buying a wood boat…… this stuff is 100% genuine bullsh_t reality show.

  2. I have a dream from Beverly Hills ca,live in apple valley ca,selling my home due to medical reasons,I want to take my time cruisein my 40 foot motor home pulling my 200k jeep and Harley Davidson playing along the way fishing crabbing 4 byeing and ridding my bike traveling up the coast to Alaska were I will sell the motor home and buy a nice power boat to live on and check out all the hidden places in alaska what do you think? ?

  3. This is what Click and Clack, the tappet brothers would say about this ridiculous show, Boooooooooogus.

  4. I love this show, I love the family and I hope one day they will adopt me and my family. I wanna live in Brown Town!!

  5. You can’t operate a 62 ft vessel without inspection, valid operators certification, and current safety and functional navigation equipment.
    Not to mention charts and area maps. On top of that there are environmental and insurance requirements. Additionally for innumerable other reasons, the entire show is a crock, as most of what they claim to do is unsafe and illegal .

    • HEY, guys its only entertainment, not supposed to be a true experience, for craps sake.

      • Actually is is supposed to be true, itys not, but they present it as such.

      • No say it aint so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so disappointed next you will tell me Santa nd pro wrestling aren’t real

    • bonjour Andrew.
      je ne suis une personne pour critique un programme comme sa qui devrait être bannie de la T.V.

      Hello Andrew. I am a person to critique a program like her who should be banned from T.V.

    • Yeah the show is a crock of shit. These morons can barley run up river in their john boat with a 25 much less operate a 62 ft vessele. And the retard sons this dudes got one howeles at the fucking moon and the other takes girls out to climb fucking trees. Really discovery channel this is the best you can do?

    • Well, you can operate it, you just can’t do any commercial work with it. I.E. hauling freight. Carrying passengers for hire, etc.

  6. If Billy,Gabe and Bear were 200 miles away and Matt and Birdie were building a hot tub how did Noah get to Hoonah for his date? Did I miss something?

    • Billy hitched a ride to town to catch the ferry from an old friend who just happened to be in the neighborhood.

    • If you Google and put alaskan bush people episode 13 in the search box the whole script for the show comes up line by line

  7. The only reason I’ve viewed this show is because I’m layed up and there was nothing better on TV or so I thought. It is by far the worst show that’s on TV so I did a little research and I find out these jokers are a bunch of criminals. Why would Discovery put these idiots on TV is beyond me. I hope they’re there to film when they go to jail now that’s good TV.

  8. Hey, just to let you know I do enjoy the program. Yah some of it gets goffy, but it’s a show. Life is hard up there, if you rely on living off the land. I can’t imagine many girls wanting to get marred and live out there like that, but I might be wrong. You other people that write in, if you only new how 12 ish you sound reading your post. You should live up there then, and fit right in. I’m going to keep watching. take care 🙂

    • I am a lifelong Alaskan so I do live up here. Somehow they haven’t thrown me out of the state so I guess I fit right in.
      I don’t mean to bust any bubbles here, but the ABP don’t live in the wild in a cabin and don’t come even close to living off the land. They live in a hotel and only go to the land and cabin (which is leased and they don’t own) to film a fake TV show. They have no valid Alaska hunting or fishing licenses. On top of all of that they are being taken to court about even living in Alaska let alone in the bush. So the Browns have about as much experience of living off the land in Alaska then the average TV viewer.
      Glad you are enjoying the show.

    • I’ve lived most of my adult life in Alaska, I’m 61 now, and I can tell you, there is nothing “real” about this show. They even refuse to go out to film if it’s raining.

  9. Just when I think that this show couldn’t possibly get any more ridiculous, it does. I laughed at the premise of the “dangerous waters.” It’s only dangerous because Billy is inept. These are the same waters that they just traveled on by ferry and the same waters that coastal people travel all the time.

    • I know. I took the Alaska State Ferry last year right through these waters and there were lots of private boaters. Only thing that makes this dangerous is that ABP are involved.

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About Ryan Berenz 2103 Articles
Some things I like (in no particular order): Sports, Star Wars, LEGO, beer, 'The Simpsons' Seasons 1-13, my family and the few friends who are not embarrassed to be seen with me. Why yes, I am very interested in how much you like 'Alaskan Bush People.' #LynxForLife